Earlier this week, National Review Online published a detailed takedown by Daniel Griswold of Jerome Corsi and his book "America For Sale." Conservative activist David Frum highlighted Griswold's article on his FrumForum website, calling Corsi an example of "anger, paranoia and extremism" on the right.
In highlighting the criticism in a Jan. 19 WorldNetDaily article, Drew Zahn took care not to address any of the substantive criticism by Griswold or Frum, focusing instead on the "anger, paranoia and extremism" stuff -- and give license to Corsi to change the focus as well:
Corsi, however, told WND the tag-team attack by Griswold and Frum is just further evidence that the establishment doesn't get it.
"It's obvious the free-trade Republicans have no understanding of why tea party protesters are against globalism or loss of sovereignty," Corsi said. "We are attacked as 'extremists' because we don't agree with a centrist Republican Party that includes open borders, globalism and accommodation with the Democrats, including Obama.
"The attack on me helps explains why McCain ran such a poor campaign," he added.
"Cato and Frum miss that the tea party movement represents a fundamental political realignment in favor of limited government, limited taxation and private enterprise," Corsi told WND. "If the Republican Party follows the advice given by Griswold and Frum, John McCain's presidential electoral defeat in 2008 may look like a highpoint of Republican Party politics. Following Griswold and Frum's advice, the Republican Party free-traders are closer to the Democratic Party than they are to the independents and Democrats joining with disillusioned Republicans to form the tea party movement."
While Zahn concedes that Griswold's criticism of Corsi and his book was "harsh," and claims that it "warns tea partiers to stay away from Corsi's book for targeting, among other things, trade deficits with China, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization." Zahn (and Corsi) made no mention of the numerous examples of factual errors, conspiracy-mongering and obtuse commentary Griswold detailed. Here's one example:
Corsi writes that “China’s economy, heavily dependent on making cheap goods for the U.S. market, was cast into its own deep recession by the U.S. economic downturn.” In reality, China didn’t experience a recession, much less a deep one. According to the generally accepted figures from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, its economy grew 12 percent in 2007, 9 percent in 2008, and at an annual rate of 7.6 percent through the first three quarters of 2009.
He writes that our soaring trade deficit with China “reflects imports from China growing nearly 250 percent, from $100.1 [b]illion in 2000 to $243.5 [billion] in 2005.” Actually, while the latter number is about 250 percent of the former, the former only grew about 150 percent. He outdoes himself on page 182, declaring that “the U.S. negative trade balance with China in 1985 was under $1 billion; in 2008, the U.S. negative trade balance with China had grown more than 250 percent, to a negative $266 billion.” An increase from 1 to 266 would be an increase not of 266 percent, but of 26,500 percent (or 266 times).
Granted, many math-challenged adults and journalists struggle with percentages, but then again, those same adults do not pose as experts qualified to write books on global trade and finance. And typos and random errors creep into many books, but serious books by serious authors do not contain such widespread, obvious, and systematically biased errors as those teeming in America for Sale.
Now you see why Corsi wants to discredit Griswold.